Originally created by Fiona Hugues, this recipe is a winner: simple to prepare, but incredibly beautiful to serve.
You can make your meringue layers ahead, but be sure to have a big enough airtight container keep them crisp & fresh in until you need them. The mix also makes fabulous individual meringues – Fiona recommends using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to make perfect little puffs.
8 large free-range egg whites
2 cups of caster sugar
2 cups of toasted sliced almonds
2½ cups fresh cream
1 cup mascarpone
1 tsp plus 1 tbsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp icing sugar
Berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries or even pomegranate)
Mint leaves & or wild strawberry leaves to decorate
1) Preheat the oven to 120C fan bake.
2) Line 4 baking trays with baking paper, each with a 25cm diameter circle drawn in pencil on the back as a guide.
3) Using an electric beater, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. With the motor running, add the sugar slowly, continuing to whisk until it’s all in. Add the teaspoon of vanilla paste. Keep whisking for a further 10 mins until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth & shiny.
4) Spoon a quarter of the mixture onto a marked circle and repeat to make 4 even discs. Sprinkle each disc with ½ cup sliced almonds.
5) Bake for 20-30 mins until they feel crisp and lift off the paper easily. Turn off the oven, open the door and leave in the oven to cool.
6) Store in an airtight container between layers of baking paper until needed.
1) Whip the cream with the vanilla paste & icing sugar until soft peaks and then gently fold in the mascarpone until well combined.
2) Place a meringue disc on your serving platter or stand and spread a large spoonful of cream on top. Add a few berries and repeat with another layer of meringue.
3) Continue until the last layer and top the cake with cream.
4) Decorate the top with berries and a few mint sprigs. Drizzle with a little lemon curd on top just before serving.